What a great day. We are having breakfast at the hotel restaurant. The food is such a great price and it gives us a chance to do our internet mail, Facebook and blog.
We headed out to the visitor´s center where we were met by our guide Hector. He is finishing high school and will be studying at the university in Saltillo. He has chose to study environmental chemistry. He has studied the area most of his life and has taking courses to prepare him to be a guide on weekends and holidays. He´s a smart kid and is looking forward to working in his field.
We headed out 13 kms to the gate that leads to the dunes. All 30 guides have a key to open the gate. This is highly protected and you couldn´t find a piece of paper on the ground if you wanted to. The desert area is surrounded by a couple of mines that take the gypsum and turn it into plaster for sheet rock and floating plaster that is exported to the U.S. as well.
This dune was created over a period of 17,000 years and started with a tree. The winds blew the sand up around the tree until, after many years, the tree died but left the beginnings of a dune. It is now solid as a rock. You can climb the dune but there are signs warning you to remove your shoes in an effort to maintain it.
There are over 300 different plant species in the area. Below are just a few. We didn´t see any animals but there are black bears in the hills, mountain lions, coyotes, kangaroo rats, blue tailed lizards, three different types of turtles, and egrets.
We spent about an hour at the dunes before heading back to drop Hector off. He said we could hire him to take a look at night when the stars are out. The school has star nights where the students can do some gazing. Imagine the light of the moon against the white sands. Wow!
We spent the afternoon walking around town planning our day today. We will visit local museums and the two wineries. Tomorrow we will head back home . We thought about heading to San Antonio but it´s a long drive. As you may have heard, we will have another gas price increase here in Mexico, 14%. Looks like we will be using the rv just around our house, at least for the next year until we see how prices settle.
I have a feeling that once the private stations take over, price wars will begin and fuel prices will level off. Wish we could continue on but the dollar is expensive and our house in San Antonio needs a new roof and central air conditioner for 2017.